Transmedia storytelling

Jeppe Thorø Andersen & Mia Søgaard Finsen

Student thesis: Master thesis


The way consumers interact with each other and with brands have changed the conditions under which companies can successfully involve consumers. Contemporary consumers have gone from isolated to connected, from unaware to informed, and from passive audience to active participants. As a result, consumers desire to engage in co-created experiences through active dialogue and interaction with brands. Technological advancements have enabled companies to address consumers in new ways, in which they allow for consumers to participate. The objective of transmedia storytelling (TS) is to engage consumers through storytelling, requesting their active involvement to evolve the brand message, while at the same time taking advantage of the synergy effects of distributing unique, supplementary content to a variety of platforms. Motivated by the above, this thesis seeks to investigate/explore how transmedia storytelling can effectively involve consumers. Based on an extensive literature review, the thesis sets out to establish theoretically founded propositions that have an influence on consumer involvement within the context of TS. A conceptual framework is presented, emphasising that involvement is dependent on storytelling, platforms, target audience, and community. Expert interviews are conducted, providing valuable and practical insights into whether to adjust these propositions. Building on these propositions, case studies are conducted in order to detect any similarities and differences on which to reject or confirm the propositions. Based on the main findings of the exploratory research, the propositions are confirmed, as findings indicate that a TS campaign will effectively involve consumers by designing the campaign to utilise the synergy effects between the four parameters of storytelling, platforms, target audience, and community. Based on this, the conceptual framework that provides a new, holistic perspective on the synergies to be considered when designing a TS campaign, with the purpose of involving consumers. The thesis has contributed with valuable findings, extending the existing literature on transmedia storytelling. However, given that the field of TS is still rather unexplored, hopefully the thesis will encourage further research, such as the applicability of TS campaigns across industries.

EducationsMSc in Brand and Communications Management, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2012
Number of pages138